A Broken Past
Author: Mizura

(This is an old ramble of mine, so I know now that some of the stuff in the ficcy is totally off from the storyline. I guess that I'll fix it if anyone really wants me too? ^.^; Though I don't know how to fix it.)

Author's Note-Okee, me know barely anything about FoR, especially about Tokiya's past. *sweatdrops* Therefore, I fiddled around with it a tiny bit. Therefore, it's OOC, most of the time..;.; not on purpose, either. FoR is copyrighted by its rightful owners. ^.^; All this junk about Tokiya's past is probably VERY inaccurate and I don't even know if Meguri Kyoza is alive or dead..don't even know if he's old or young. Just used my imagination a little. Um..and Domon's sort of portrayed dumber than he probably is..*sighs* Oh well. Enjoy..my first attempt at a FoR fic...and seems to be my last... Oh, and one last note, Raiha + Fuuko lovers are probably going to hate me for
this one, but I couldn't do much with Raiha, I dunno much about him. Wonder if he's older than the others..if so, oopes. This is just based on the anime, not the manga. In other words, people who have just seen the anime have a better chance at understanding...maybe? Aiya, and this is supposed to be serious! (Mostly!) Though I might (understatement..@.@;) have done a bad job at it. *lol* 0.o;; Ja! (That was quite a long ramble.)

Japanese words used: (and translations! ...my version, though..*sweatdrops* Not good.)
are(e)? -- huh?
aho -- stupid/idiot/fool
baka -- stupid/idiot/fool
nani? -- what?
nandato? -- what did you say?
hai -- yes/okay/sure (depending on the situation)
sensei -- teacher
itadakimasu -- (something said right before eating)
ne? -- right?/yeah?/okay?
sempai -- upperclassman/(something you call an upperclassman)
sayonara -- goodbye
ja mata -- see you later/goodbye/be seeing you
saa -- come
sumanai -- sorry
ohayo -- good morning
oy -- hey
masaka -- can't be/it couldn't be
teme -- bastard
kisama -- bastard
madougu -- elemental weapon
arigato -- thank you
neichan -- sister/older woman
niichan -- brother/older man

"Aree~?" Kirisawa Fuuko brushed her hair aside with a sigh. "Recca, whaddya want? It's pretty new to see you without Yanagi-chan trailing. Hm, did your lover girl dump you already?" she teased.

She got the reaction she was hoping for. Hanabishi Recca turned a deep shade of indignant red and glared at her. "Yeah, right!" he added, "I came to tell you something, but maybe I won't even bother telling you it--"

"Telling me about what, Re~cca?" the last word, in particular, was said sugary sweet.

Recca sighed. "Before that, where's Domon? I haven't seen him around today."

With that remark, Fuuko burst out in laughter.

"Huh? Wha-?"

"And who might that be behind you?"

Recca turned and found he was face to face with some sort of demon...er, my mistake. That was Domon, not demon. @.@;

Domon eyed him suspiciously, then roared, "What's the matter, Hanabishi? I saw you talking to that Mikagami fellow and now you're talking to Fuuko?!" he widened his eyes, dramatically staggering back as though hit in the stomach. "Don't tell me that you were going to set my Fuuko up on a date with--"

Domon flew up into the air about a thousand feet, then crashed back down.

"AHO!" Fuuko glowered.

Recca rolled his eyes. "Anyways, as I was going to say, Mikagami said that he wants to have a little 'talk' among us."

"A 'talk'?!" Domon stood up, brushing himself off and rubbing at his eyes. "Mikagami? Talk to us? Underclassmen? Peh!"

"Where?" was Fuuko's reaction.

"NANI? You're actually going to bother talking to that cold-hearted son of a--"

Domon found himself flying once more. At the peak of flying, he let out a curse loud enough for the others to hear and fell back down.

"Next to the fountain." Recca replied. "In ten minutes."

*

Tokiya was standing next to the water fountain. Annoyed. He checked his watch. 3:31. ::A minute late.:: He grumbled to himself,
stuffing his hands in his pockets. He was doing what he least liked to. Wasting time. And time was exactly what he didn't want wasted
at the moment. Another minute passed. Then another. And finally another.

After what seemed like an eternity to him, and happened to be an agonizing five minutes or so, he sensed a presence behind him. And
there they were. He glared daggers at Recca. "Hanabishi." he directed to whom he considered the leader of the 'monkey clan,' "You're
late."

To which Recca reacted by whining, "But I'm not the only one!" ::Picks on me too much...:: "Seriously, though. What do you want
anyways, Mikagami? It isn't usual for you to actually call to us for talks."

"Humph! Don't be mistaken, who said I wanted to talk to you?" Tokiya muttered softly, barely loud enough for the others to hear.
Then he paused, took a breath, and continued. "My teacher wanted to meet you. He told me to invite you to 'his place.' I think he has
to tell you something."

"You met with him? Did you ask about your sister's--" Domon began eagerly. This caused him to yet again become a temporary star
in the sky.

"Baka!" Fuuko called up. "Don't you have any concern for other people's feelings?!"

When Domon landed, he wept. "What would you be talking about? You just hit me three times in the last ten minutes..."

"That's different."

Domon sulked.

That was when Tokiya showed them his teacher's letter to him, signifying that he had not directly spoken to Meguri Kyoza but had only
received a letter from him.

Recca glanced at the serious looking upperclassman. "So, when are we meeting him?"

Tokiya handed him the letter silently. Recca skimmed through it, then noted the time. "Six thirty P.M., the day you receive this
letter...?! Today!?"

"It's not far."

"But what in the world would he want to meet us for?"

"How should I know?" Tokiya took a deep breath, then let it out. "Anyways, besides telling you about the 'invitation,' I wanted to say
one more thing."

"Yeah? What is it?"

Tokiya looked away from Recca and towards the direction of the two others. Fuuko was busily choking Domon and it was clear that
neither was listening.

"Pay attention!" the ensui wielder called out, annoyance clear on his face.

"Ha~i?" Fuuko immediately dropped Domon and was alert.

Domon was too busy regaining his air to listen. Either that or he was pretending so he wouldn't have to listen.

Tokiya sighed. This was why he didn't want the others to come. "The one other thing. Don't do anything embarrassing. Or else." he
turned away, sweatdropping slightly as he thought of what Meguri Kyoza would do when he was introduced to a bunch of monkeys.

*

6:30 Sharp:

"Welcome!" a homely looking woman called out as the group entered the building. "Please hold on, the room is being set for you.
Recca sighed. "Out of all places, a restaurant? Weren't we going to his house?"

Tokiya rolled his eyes. "I don't remember ever saying that we were going to a house." he snapped.

"It's a pretty place though." Yanagi exclaimed excitedly.

"If you say so." Fuuko shrugged her shoulders. "Looks pretty dull to me."

"Ah, Tokiya. Been a while, has it not?" a slightly elderly looking man entered the room. It immediately grew quiet. "Now now, what's
with the cold faces?"

"Meguri..Kyoza. No, sensei." Tokiya said on instinct, then frowned. If what Kai had said was true, the man before him was responsible
of the murdering of his sister. ::Revenge..:: his mind whispered, but he kept quiet and still. He would have to ask Kyoza about it. And
soon. Before he lost his cool.

"That's Mi-chan's teacher?" Fuuko whispered.

"Seems so," Domon whispered back. "Looks like some ordinary guy, though."

"Who were you expecting?" she questioned dryly. "Superman?"

"Um, not exactly. More like Batman."

"Well then, introduce me to your friends, Tokiya." Kyoza's eyes held a light gleam in them.

Not only did Tokiya catch the gleam, he caught the word "friends" in the sentence. Again, almost as instinct, he began, "Sensei, they
aren't my frie--"

"Introduce them!"

Tokiya felt anger boil up in him, and lowered his eyes. "Hai." he muttered. "This is Hanabishi Recca, Sakoshita Yanagi, Kirisawa
Fuuko, and Ishijima Domon." without raising his eyes, he mumbled to them, "My sensei, Meguri Kyoza."

"Um...nice to meet you!" Yanagi said automatically, bowing deeply.

"Pleased." Kyoza said in a not-so-very-pleased tone of voice. He stood suddenly. "Why don't you all order your food? I have
something to discuss with my student here. Don't worry, we'll be quick." he turned to the pleasant looking woman who had escorted the
others in. "I'll have what I usually do. Make that two." he said as he eyed Tokiya.

"Hai." the lady bowed slightly, then wandered over to the others so they could begin to order their own food.

*

"First of all," Tokiya began as soon as Kyoza and he had been led to another room and left alone. "Was what Kai said correct?" his
eyes narrowed. "Did you kill my sister!? Or are you going to deny it again!?"

Kyoza sighed and sat, motioning for the other to sit also. Tokiya slowly obeyed, keeping his eyes on his teacher. "Well, it's like you not
to waste time, isn't it." Kyoza finally said, taking a sip of his tea. "I haven't come to deny anything. That's exactly what I wanted to
speak to you about. It's interesting that you believe in Kai more than me, though."

"I have no reason to doubt him!"

Kyoza raised his eyes to see his student. "There, there. Loosen up. Loosen up and listen, for this may be the most important thing
you've heard since your sister's death."

With that, Meguri Kyoza began. "When you were young, barely a year after you were born, to be exact, your family passed away and
you were left with your sister to take care of you. Your sister died at age sixteen, when you were only ten. All you would remember was
that she was very kind and gentle to you, and that she was killed for your sake. She saved you. She told you to protect that ensui."
Kyoza studied his student's face. No change. Of course, he wasn't really expecting a reaction so soon anyways. Not from Tokiya.

"What would you do if I told you that you're sister never did die?"

That caused Tokiya to flinch involuntarily. "That can't be possible." he said flatly. "My sister died in front of my face. There was blood,
there was--" his voice grew softer. "--nothing I could do about it."

"Now then, since I got your reaction on that one, what would you do I told you that you never had a sister in your whole life?"

"Are you trying to anger me on purpose?!" Tokiya demanded, his hand slamming on the floor as he made an attempt to stand.

"Now, now. I told you not to get worked up." Kyoza snickered, then motioned for Tokiya to take his seat. The silver-haired boy
obeyed, but only after an extended silence.

"Anyways," Kyoza resumed speaking, "It's no good for you to kill me now. I'm going to die soon anyways," he said lightly. "I've
caught some sort of incurable disease."

"What?!" Tokiya seemed fairly surprised. "You look healthy.."

"Look. But that's about it. I barely feel healthy." Kyoza informed. Then he made a face. "You're wasting time. I know you hate that.
I came here to tell you something and I'm not planning on leaving until I do. You may want to kill me, heck you may actually kill me by
the end of this conversation, but its important, and I want you to hear it, all right?" he lowered his gaze to reach Tokiya's cool one. He
nodded. "I will continue. What I said before was what you've known, am I correct?"

"Hai."

"I will now tell you something else. Do not interrupt me, and listen carefully."

Slight hesitation, then, "Hai."

Kyoza took a deep breath, then let it out slowly. "The most important point. You do not have a sister. And you never had one. Do you
want to know why? Because you are an only child."

*

Tokiya opened his mouth to complain about the inaccuracy when he remembered his teacher's words. He shut it, reluctantly, and
decided to listen to what his teacher had to say.

"Yes, your parents had died soon after you were born. That piece of information left in your brain is true. What you didn't know is this.
Before your parents passed away, they went to an orphanage to adopt a baby girl. The girl lived in the house for a mere month, and
your parents finally refused to adopt. They died soon after.

"The girl in the orphanage, Mifuyu, finally found someone related to her. Still, she had grown a little bit fond of the little baby the
Mikagami's had left. In other words, you.

"Her aunt finally agreed to take care of you, but she also didn't want the hassle of adoption. When Mifuyu was ten, her aunt passed
away as well. She was without parents, all alone with the exception of you. Now who could see such a poor sight without wanting to help
her? I took care of her, secretly, so no one but she knew. She would take food back to you, she would have money, clean clothes, a
house, but no one knew how or why. Or where she got it from." he paused, then continued. "One day she showed me it. Her family's
elemental weapon. The Ensui. She told me that she didn't know what is was and I told her that it was left from her family. She
accepted that, but of course, she never knew how to use it. I tested it out myself a few times, then had a brilliant idea. That baby that
she was taking care of may live to become a great swordsman.

"It was an odd idea indeed, and even I knew that. But I still believed it would happen. And I decided then and there that I wouldn't let
anything get in my way. Now, you may not remember or known, but Mifuyu had a greedy streak in her. I offered her an awfully large
sum of money for a little girl to do one thing for me. She agreed, of course, firsthand." Kyoza paused once more, then looked towards
his student. Tokiya was turning a bit pale. He shrugged and went on. "That one thing was to make you independent. And of course,
mainly for you to want to learn how to use the ensui. Do you know what we did? We hired a bunch of 'assassins' to 'kill her,' actually,
they were only a few of her friend's fathers. She was a marvelous actress, that she was. About a week after her death was staged in
front of you, she was found by another relative and taken with them, which was better for us. That way I wouldn't have to keep her in
hiding any longer. She went to America...and I heard that she had passed away a few years back, in some sort of car accident. She
used to drink, too." he ceased speaking and sipped his tea quietly. When there was no response, he looked up. "Well, any reaction,
Tokiya?"

Tokiya actually had begun to react by then. By turning paler and more distant every passing second.

"It's the truth, Tokiya. I can't lie to you now, it's all over and done with, and I'm an aged man. I wasn't going to tell you this because I
thought it would be painful for you, heck I was almost starting to feel sorry for you, but I thought, might as well, before I passed on."

With that, Tokiya stood, then looked at his teacher, contempt written all over his handsome facial features. "You..lied to me for the
past seven years?" he demanded, incredulously.

"I'm sorry to say yes, Tokiya."

"And so I spent seven whole years trying to avenge my sister's death which never even occurred? I don't even have a sister?!"

"Yes, Tokiya."

"Then what about the images in my head? Of my sister being killed in front of my face?!"

"They were planted into your mind. You must have remembered it all through these years." Meguri Kyoza stood. "I'm sorry for all of
this, Tokiya." he turned.

"What do you mean that 'you're sorry about this'?!" Tokiya burst out, standing also. "Do you think that after all these years of looking
for revenge on the person who killed my sister, that I could just easily say, 'Oh, really. So that's it. Thank you very much, I understand.'
to all of this!? There's no way--"

"Mifuyu's last name was Sakoshita also!" Kyoza cut in sharply. "Sakoshita Yanagi's cousin. No one else in Yanagi's family knew of her,
though. Can't you see the resemblance? Because of her, you've gotten stronger. She looked just like Mifuyu to you. So familiar to
you." he said slowly. "I asked the Sakoshitas to move here for a reason. Though I never told them why. Of course I gave them
money. And now look, their youngest daughter seems to be in love with a young man from this neighborhood. Hanabishi Recca, was
it? Perfect. Now they aren't only living here for the money. The only reason I brought them here was to make you remember--"

"I don't believe you." Tokiya stated, eying his teacher with his eternally cool gaze.

"Then don't. I can't force you." Kyoza said plainly, then turned away. "Maybe it'll be better off if you don't believe it. I guess I never
thought that you actually would. At least this takes the burden off of my shoulders. But I have one more thing to say. You've turned
out to be very strong and I appreciate that. But don't use that strength to try to avenge death that never occurred. Let's head back,
Tokiya. The others are waiting."

"..hai." his eyes lowered from his teacher's gaze and they walked back.

*

When the two returned, the room was in chaos.

"Baka Domon~!" Fuuko was in one corner, her arms crossed, while Domon was weeping in the one across from her and had a black eye.

Yanagi was curiously looking back and forth between them while Recca shook his head in a movement meant to look wise and
murmured, "Grow up, you two."

Meguri Kyoza looked surprised. Tokiya just looked detached, as always. With a sigh, he went to pick up his stuff. "I'm going home."
he said darkly and started for the door. Unfortunately, Domon was in the way.

"But Mikagami, you haven't even eaten!" Domon said, gesturing to the food which had just been brought in, in its good timing. If it
had been served any earlier, there would probably have been one major food fight.

"I'll eat at home." Tokiya was out of the room before anything further could be said.

The room went silent. Something was wrong.

In an attempt to lighten the mood, Yanagi clapped her hands together and said, "Let's eat!"

Domon and Recca had already begun gulping down their food.

::No wonder they were quiet...:: Yanagi mused sheepishly. Fuuko was sweatdropping at the guys' ignorance.

Kyoza watched them disapprovingly at first, but then began eating, himself, before the food went cold. Yanagi sat there with a smile on
her pretty face and helped everyone reach what they needed to. She also began to fuss over Recca's food smudged face.

Fuuko left her corner to pick at her own food. Usually, she ate almost as quickly as the guys, but she had apparently lost her appetite a
while back, so she took the time to watch the others. ::Look at Yanagi-chan, she'd be a great wife, she does so many things.:: she
sighed. ::Unlike tomboyish me on the other hand.:: she fingered a strand of her hair. :: I even have a boyish haircut.:: she stole a
glance at Meguri Kyoza. :: So he was Ice Man's teacher, eh?:: she thought to herself with interest. ::I wonder what they talked about
back there. Mi-chan seemed overly moody afterwards..well then again, this is Mi-chan I'm talking about here..:: after a few more
minutes of absently picking at her food, she stood up, to the surprise of the others. She grabbed her purse, bowed at Meguri Kyoza and
announced her leave. She wanted to check up on Mi-chan.

Domon was still blocking the door. He did the same thing as he did before, this time, with his mouth full. "But Fuutto, you habent
eatan yept." he motioned towards her plate.

"Watch your table manners, dope." Fuuko muttered and shoved past him. "And don't even think about following me, you'll just be in
the way!" she warned, then disappeared out of the door.

As soon as she had left ear shot, Recca grinned. "Aw, how sweet. Our little tomboy's going to check up on how the Ice Man himself is.
And not only that, but she says not to follow because we'll get in the way."

"Nandato?!" Domon glowered at Recca. "Whaddid you say about a tomboy? Eh!?" he picked Recca up by the collar, mentally making a
note to be sure to check up on Fuuko after dinner.

Yanagi sweatdropped there, and begged him to let Recca down while Recca himself threatened the bigger boy with a bunch of
firecrackers. Meguri Kyoza was too busy eating to notice this commotion. Lucky for him.

*

"Now where in the world did he go off to?" Fuuko muttered to herself. "Home, perhaps." Wait. Did she even know where Tokiya lived?
Nope. She sighed. Maybe it was pointless to go outside to look for him. She could still go back to the others...maybe she was just
searching in vain.

Fuuko cursed. She was having the worst luck. She turned to walk back, when she saw a park entrance. ::Eh? There was an entrance
here too? Never saw it before. Oh well..:: she sighed. ::Nothing better to do, I guess. I'm not really hungry anyways..:: the girl
wandered in, then sat down on a swing. She looked around. "I wonder." she thought aloud, "Is this place just..empty? What a park."
she groaned. "Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to look for him in the first place. It's getting dark, too.." and that was when she
spotted him. A lone figure standing on the edge of the basketball court, the side away from the grass. ::A-ha!:: she sprung off of the
swing, landed easily, and wandered over to where he was located.

With a bright smile on her face, she tiptoed towards him, planning on scaring him for once in his entire life, then jumped as she heard,
"Why did you come here?"

"Well, I was looking for you, that's for one." Fuuko stated, halting while twisting a lock of purplish hair on a finger. "And I was bored,
too. They (Domon & Recca) were making a fuss in front of your sensei." she said.

"Oh."

"So..whaddya guys talk about?"

"My past." he said dryly.

"So did he actually kill--" she shut her mouth, turning away. "Ne--nevermind. Sorry." she said gruffly, never used to apologizing.
Then she sheepishly added, "Fuuko-chan's so impolite!"

She received no answer.

"Mi-chan?"

"Huh?"

"Are you okay?"

To her surprise, she received a mild chuckle. "Humph. Of course I'm okay. Why wouldn't I be? Don't worry about me."

Fuuko's first instinct was to say, 'Oh, but I wasn't worried..' but she held the words back. There was no way that he would fall for such
words anyways. Considering who it was. ::Fake.:: she thought disapprovingly of his words. ::Too fake of an answer..but then again,
he's that kind of guy. Still, it would have been better if he hadn't answered. Now I'm getting more worried. Great.:: she rolled her
eyes.

"Is that all?"

"Maybe. Maybe not." Fuuko ventured, trying to sound a bit mysterious for some odd reason. She sighed. ::Gods, we must look
dumb.:: was the thought that crossed her mind. ::Two people talking to each other but from afar and both facing in opposite
directions.:: she wanted to turn, but talking to any wall was better than to a turned backside. Well, so she thought.

But to her surprise, she heard a footstep behind her, then a warm hand enclose hers. With widened eyes, she turned, and her gaze met
his. ::Ice.:: her mind whispered to her, and she looked away quickly. It was true that the young man's eyes looked as cold as ice.
She just didn't want to acknowledge it.

With a small movement, he gave her something, wrapped her fingers around it, and walked off.

The girl was too stunned to move. At least, for a short while. Tightening her fingers around the object, she felt...cold. "What--"
opening her hand, she saw something that she never thought that she would ever hold, not to mention even really see up close.
"Ensui." she whispered.

With that one whisper, the clouds darkened. Distant thunder echoed through the air as though she had commanded it to appear just
then.

She was hardly aware of a few pieces of shredded paper a little distance away. Tokiya had let them go when he had walked past her.
Curiosity finally rushed through her and she picked a piece up from the ground. What she saw was a head of a young girl.
"Yanagi-chan? Why would he--" she trailed off. "Mifuyu. He ripped up his picture of his sister..why?" she sank to her knees, arranging
the fallen pieces together like a puzzle until it at last formed a complete picture. It was a picture of a young lady smiling sweetly.
"Why?" she repeated, and a small gust of wind scattered the picture once more. She made no attempt to retrieve it, though she
watched as the pieces slowly flew off to a distance. "..why? Mi-chan?"

She raised her eyes from the flying pieces and looked towards the direction that Tokiya had gone. And it began to rain.

*

Knock knock.

Tokiya turned to the door. "Who could it be now?" he muttered. He decided to ignore it.

Knock knock. Ding-dong. Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-dong. Diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing-dong! Then, "Mi-chan? I know you're there! Open up! I
need to talk to you!"

Tokiya froze in place. ::No. But I could have sworn that she didn't follow, and I never told her where I lived..so how did she--::

"Mi-chan? Mi-chan! Open the door!" he heard the visitor take a deep breath, and then, "MIKAGAMI TOKIYA!! Open the freaking door
before I have to break it down!!!"

Tokiya finally gave in, opening the door a notch. What he wanted most at the moment was not a broken door. Probably, if he didn't
open the door, that particular visitor of his would go through with that threat. "What do you want?" he grumbled at her. "And how did
you find my house?!"

Fuuko shoved past him into the house, ignoring his feeble attempts at protesting. "Don't you have the courtesy to let a girl in from the
rain? Gods, I'm soaked." she mumbled, removing her jacket and setting it down. "Don't you have a fireplace or something?
Somewhere I could dry this off?"

Tokiya looked at her as though she was insane. "Idiot." he finally grumbled, then took the jacket from her. "There's such a thing as a
dryer, did you forget that?"

As he started towards another door, Fuuko called out, "Oh, about how I found your house, I followed you." she smiled. "Surprised? I
think the rain weakened your senses."

Tokiya sighed deeply, disappearing into the room. When he came out once more, the jacket was gone. He muttered, "It wasn't only
the rain that weakened my senses."

"Huh? Did you say something?"

"Uh, no." Then, "Did you already finish eating at the restaurant?"

"Naaah. I got worried and left my food there. Recca and Domon musta eaten it by now. They ate yours." she grinned.

"Oh."

"Didya make something to eat?"

"I was just about to." Tokiya glanced down irritably.

Fuuko then noticed what he was looking at. "Ah! An apron! Not common for guys to wear them now-a-days." she commented. "Can
you cook? Or should I help you?"

"Humph! I've lived here alone for quite some time. Did you actually think that I ate out every time I was hungry?"

"Naah." she said as she thought to herself, ::Thank goodness. I can hardly prepare a meal myself.:: She added, "But you didn't
have to say something like that."

She heard the sound of a knife on cutting board. He had already gone back to the kitchen. ::What a rude guy!:: she thought, slightly
angered. Then finally, she mused, ::Hm. Not bad though..:: as she watched curiously.

"So." he stated, not looking up.

"Eh?" Fuuko glanced towards him, plopping down onto the couch. Being on the couch in the living room and his being in the kitchen
didn't make things any easier for her to do so. At least the kitchen was connected to the living room in a weird sense, so the only thing
that obscured her view was the kitchen table.

"So why'd you come? What did you want to talk about?" he sighed.

"I came to get shelter from the rain." she said half-truthfully. Then she added, "And I wanted to know why you left so suddenly. Was
there something wrong?"

Tokiya shook his head. "Do I need to give a reason for everything I do? I didn't feel well, okay?"

"Well, fine. Don't need to get pissed about it."

Silence, except for the sound of chopping vegetables.

"Mi-chan,"

"What?"

"Whacha making?"

"Cream stew." he said flatly. "How long are you planning on staying here anyways?"

"Until I want to go home. My house is kind of far from here, you know. Maybe a twenty to thirty minute walk or so. I don't want to
catch a cold. Or get wet."

"I'll lend you an umbrella, so when your coat dries you can go back. It'll be late soon. Don't you want to get home?"

"You really want me to leave, don't you."

The cutting stopped. Dull eyes met hers. "Why do you think that?" was the reply.

"Fine. I take the hint." she rose.

Tokiya resumed cutting. "Do what you wish. But I'm not forcing you to do anything. Remember that."

Fuuko hesitated then, looking from the boy to the door to the couch and back. With a sigh, she fell back onto the couch, putting her
hands behind her head. "Fine." she watched him as he efficiently washed a few potatoes, more carrots, and other miscellaneous
vegetables and chopped them up. Quickly. Too quickly. ::Is he trying to show off?:: she thought angrily, then shook her head.
::Nah, only Recca or Domon would. He must be in a hurry for some reason.:: she raised her eyes from the cutting board and glanced
at him. "Must be in a hurry to get rid of me.." she muttered under her breath. If he heard, he made no movement to show it. There
was no change in his expression that signaled that he had wanted her to leave or if he had wanted her to stay.

She took a deep breath, then asked softly, "What did you two talk about?"

"None of your business." was the curt reply. The cutting grew quicker.

"Ugh. Fine." she rolled her eyes, watched him cook for a few more minutes, then asked, "Why did you rip up your sister's picture, by
the way?! That was her picture wasn't it? The one that was shredded at the park?"

The chopping slowed until she saw him wince, then put the knife down. He raised his index finger and examined it. Then after a few
seconds, he washed his finger off and looked over at Fuuko accusingly. "Why do you want to know?"

It took a short while for the actions to register for her. "Oh!" she exclaimed then. "Did I make you cut yourself? Sorry!" with a
sheepishly bright smile, she hopped into the kitchen, took Tokiya's hand and pulled out a band-aid. She put it on the wound, then grew
serious, dropping his hand. Freed, Tokiya washed the knife, threw out the bloodstained vegetables and cleaned the cutting board.

"Why do I want to know?" Fuuko spoke out. "Because I'm concerned, Mi-chan. That's about it. You're acting stranger than usual."

Tokiya froze.

The girl then smiled. "We'll talk after you're done cooking. I don't want you getting hurt further, k?" the smile turned into a grin.
"Next time, you might accidentally cut your hand off or something." with that, she returned to the living room.

Finally in peace, Tokiya let out a sigh of relief and continued to cook.

*

About a half an hour later, Tokiya appeared from in the kitchen. He brought with him two bowls and cups, to the girl's surprise. He sat
then down at the table and motioned for her to join him on the floor. She took a seat across from him.

"Aw, Mi-chan, you shouldn't have," Fuuko gushed happily. All that waiting had gotten her hungry.

The expression on Tokiya's face clearly showed that he was thinking two words at that moment. 'I know.'

"Itadakima~su!" Fuuko said, then tried a bit of the stew, as Tokiya removed the apron from around himself. "Wow, it's good!" she
proclaimed, obviously surprised that he could cook.

Tokiya muttered something under his breath that she couldn't catch, but she was too busy eating to ask. He sighed and tasted the stew
himself. It tasted good. ::Funny.:: he reflected, and a thought formed in his head. ::I'll bet you make food better when you have a
guest over, Mikagami.:: he pushed it aside and replaced it with, ::It's better than usual. I just must be more hungry today.:: then
again, he had a lot on his mind today. And now he had to answer questions. What he wanted at the time was an answer to his own
questions.

Fuuko finally stopped eating and looked up at him. "So, what's up? There's got to be a reason that you didn't stay at the restaurant
very long." she grinned teasingly. "Not when Yanagi-chan was there too.."

Tokiya glanced aside. "I learned something I didn't want to from my teacher." he said blankly, barely noticing what he was saying.

"Oh. That's it?"

"I don't think I can quite believe it yet."

"Oh." she repeated, sounding uninterested. She took a bite out of a potato.

"He told me that I don't have a sister." Tokiya blurted out, and although his mind commanded him to stop speaking out, he
continued. "Everything was a lie to make me learn how to use the Ensui."

"Oh?"

His eyes flashed then and he glared at her. "Oh?! That's all?!" he slammed a fist down on the table.

Fuuko widened her own eyes, putting her spoon down. "Did you want me to say something different? Did you want me to say that your
teacher lied to you then? I don't even know him! I don't know enough. I need more facts to answer, Mi-chan." she said, finally
meeting his gaze. "Tell me more." she said firmly. "I'll listen, I promise."

There was a silence. Tokiya finally lowered his eyes. "Fine. If you do anything inappropriate, like laugh, I won't forgive you." he
muttered hotly.

The girl seemed hurt. She frowned. "Why would I laugh?" she asked quietly. "I thought this was serious for you."

Tokiya opened his mouth, then shut it again. He then took a sip of his drink. Closing his eyes, he began. "You all knew that I was
fighting in the Urabutosatsujin in order to seek revenge for my sister," he stated. "And at the Urabutosatsujin, you heard Kai say that
my sister had been killed not by him, but by Meguri Kyoza. My own teacher, who trained me for a full seven years. I barely believed his
words at first, but when it finally registered, a thought came to my mind. 'What do I do after I get my revenge?!'

"The answer seemed simple enough. Kill myself, for I had nothing to live for here. In other words, my life was devoted to seeking
revenge. I was worthless as a human being, if I couldn't find that revenge. Well, when I thought that I actually had found who killed
her, Meguri Kyoza, he told me something I could not accept. No, still can't. Do you know what he told me? He said, 'Tokiya, you do
not have a sister. You never had. Why? Because you were an only child!' " Tokiya hesitated, then continued.

"I'm still a bit shocked. he couldn't have really expected me to actually believe that now, did he? He set up the whole relationship
between Mifuyu and me. Just to make it seem that I had a sister. She wasn't even related to me. Am I supposed to sit her and accept
that?!" his eyes opened slowly and he looked the girl in the face. "The who pretended to be my sister for about ten years was
Sakoshita Mifuyu." he caught the surprised look in her face, and shook it off. "That's why Yanagi-san looked so much like her.
Mifuyu-san moved to America after the staging of her death..Kyoza told me that he heard that she died in a car accident a few years
back. Yanagi-san's family was paid to move here so I could recall Mifuyu through her. They were mere tools, too. But they didn't
know..no, I don't think they know even now why they really came here. Kyoza wanted me to learn how to use the Ensui by will. And so
he set the whole thing up."

"My God." Fuuko finally spoke. "You're not..kidding..?"

"Would I be?!" he demanded. "Not on this subject!" he looked down at his stew, which was still more than half left over and possibly
already cold. "My whole life's been a set up. I lived for my sister's revenge. Now that I know that I never had a sister, that she wasn't
killed, what am I supposed to do? I'm ruined. I've lived for nothing..and I can't just automatically re-build my life with a fresh start.
Not now. Not after all of this." he paused, then glanced down.

::That's ridiculous.:: Fuuko bit her lip, her anger flaring up. ::That's selfish..it's a lie..it has to be. What's with that Meguri Kyoza? Him
and all of his lies! Not only did he not tell Mi-chan that he had killed her sister, he didn't tell him about two Hyomon Ken masters..and
now even worse, he's denying that Mi-chan ever had a sister in the first place?! Unforgivable..he's screwing with poor Mi-chan's mind
here.::

Tokiya picked up his cup to drink, but found his hand shook..the cup fell. Glass shattered, liquid poured onto the carpet. Still, he made
no move to clean it. He raised passive eyes to meet Fuuko's, then attempted a weak smile. "Don't worry about me. I'm sure I'll be
fine. I just need to speak with Kyoza once more. To get this cleared up. Maybe I heard wrong." he whispered, doubt obvious in his
speech. Then he added softly, "I wonder why I even spoke to you about this.." ::Not that she cares about my past.::

Fuuko stood up. "Baka." she muttered.

"Huh?" that had caught the boy by surprise.

"Baka." she repeated fiercely. "Don't think like that." she walked over to his side of his table, kneeled down. In a swift movement,
she grabbed him roughly and placed his head on her shoulder. He stiffened, but made no attempt to pull away. "I'm sorry about
everything that happened. I really am. But what's happened's already done with." she smiled slightly. "No point in wanting to return
and change the past. If what Kyoza said is actually correct this time, well, you're not tied down to revenge only now. You still have a life
ahead of you. You're young, remember?" her arms tightened around him. "You don't have to live for revenge. Live for something
else. Live for yourself if no one or nothing else." she chuckled slightly. "Though these words don't match me."

Tokiya finally relaxed against her. With a silent vow never to feel so vulnerable again, he closed his eyes. From one, a single tear
trickled down his cheek. That was it. For his memories, which were all inaccurate, for his past which was all set up, for his world that had
crashed upon him without his knowing..for the life he had been led to have.

And there, he tried to cast it all away.

*

After a significant amount of time passed, the silver-haired boy opened his eyes and pulled away. Fuuko released him easily and found
herself looking into a pair of beautiful but pain-filled baby blue eyes. She blinked, then glanced aside, feeling her face grow hot. Then
she turned back, smiling, an attempt to lighten his mood. "You know what might help? A party! Karoke? How 'bout sometime
tomorrow? With the others? We could have belated celebration for winning the Urabutosatsujin..?" she suggested. Then she caught
his 'look'..that she was all too familiar with. "Hey! You can trust in little ol' Fuuko-chan here! This (the talk) is all a secret until you give
me permission to say anything about it! I promise!" she patted him on the back, then stood up. "Come on, it'll be fun! Maybe it'll
help you feel a little better, ne?" she beamed. "There's no school tomorrow anyways! What's your phone number? I'll tell you what
time we'll go, k?"

Tokiya stared at her as if she were crazy once more, then finally took out a notepad, wrote his number down in his overly neat
handwriting and handed it to her.

She gave him another smile. "Thanks, Mi-chan!" she glanced out of the window. "Jeez, it's still raining. Are you still going to let me
borrow that umbrella?" she asked curiously.

Tokiya nodded, then stood up. "I'll go with you." he said slowly, going to get her jacket.

"Oh, what a gentleman." she approved with a giggle. She automatically shut up when he disappeared into the room, then grabbed
paper towels to clean the mess Tokiya's cup had made on the carpet. Now where in the world would the vacuum be?

She sighed. ::Wonder if he's okay..that musta been a big shock for him..:: she thought worriedly. ::And I promised not to tell, either,
so I can't discuss it with anyone..besides Meguri Kyoza himself. Maybe I should try that.::

"Leave it." the boy returned, glancing at her futile attempt at cleaning. "I'll do it later."

"If you say so.." Fuuko shrugged.

"Here." he handed her her jacket. "Let's go."

*

"Well, we're here." Fuuko announced cheerily, motioning to the house they were in front of. "Yeah, yeah, so it isn't as grand as yours,
sempai." she teased at the horrified expression on Tokiya's face. "But it's livable." she smiled. "You'll be all right getting home,
right? It's gotten darker. No one knows what'll happen to a pretty girl--I mean guy in the dark." she snickered. "Some drunk might
think you're a girl, considering that face of yours, Mi-chan. Watch out for 'em."

"I'll be fine." Tokiya said dryly, seeming to not catching the humor.

"Sure you will. Hmm--" she moved the umbrella aside. "Hey look, it's stopped raining!"

"Oh."

"Well, you can get home a little quicker now." she took a step back, towards her house. "Um, thanks, Mi-chan, for even bothering to
'escort' me home. And for dinner. I was an unwanted guest, too."

"Mmm." Tokiya turned, then muttered. "..sayonara."

"Ja mata." Fuuko said as he began to walk away. "..wait a sec!" she called out finally. The boy hesitated. "Take care of yourself,
okay? Don't do anything rash." she said, although in her mind she was thinking how mismatching it was for her out of all people to be
saying such a thing. "Bye. Talk to you tomorrow."

Tokiya, noting that she was finished speaking, began his trip back. Fuuko turned then and started into the house. When she
remembered about still having the Ensui in her pocket, it was too late to call the boy back.

*

"A party? Karoke? It's been a while!" Recca exclaimed. "Hime, can you sing?"

"Um, not very well," Yanagi replied truthfully.

They were walking to the karoke bar nearby. There, at least, they could drink. Kagero would see to it. And that was also why neither
Koganei Kaoru or Morikawa Ganko had been invited.

"Yeah!" Domon celebrated. "A double date with parental supervision!"

[An arrow --> Parental supervision = Kagero and Tokiya]

"Baka!" Fuuko socked him in the face. "Is that all you think about!?"

"Well, we get to be together tonight, unlike yesterday." he said eagerly, then added. "Yesterday, I stopped by your house since you
left early, and you weren't there. Did you even find Mikagami? Weren't you looking for him or something? Wait...don't tell me that you
were with him for more than two hours! I went to your house about two hours or so after you left the restaurant!"

With that mentioned, Fuuko glanced down and Tokiya looked unusually guilty.

"Argh! You were with him, weren't you! Ahhhh~!!! Mikagami, you know not to mess with my Fuuko...don't you?" Domon planted
himself right in front of Tokiya's face. Tokiya looked green.

"Get out of my face." the older boy said menacingly, though he was sort of trying to inch away himself. When Domon paid no attention
to him, he made an attempt to push Domon out of his way. To no avail. Fuuko ended up kicking the overgrown sixteen-year-old out
into the street.

"Like I told you, I'm not yours!" Fuuko growled, going to strangle Domon.

Recca looked at Tokiya. "Come to think of it, why'd you leave so early yesterday?" he narrowed his eyes.

"I don't have a reason." Tokiya replied plainly.

"So you talked to Fuuko about it and aren't planning on telling us, are you?"

"Why should I tell you? And why would I have told her any more than I'm telling you now?!" Tokiya demanded.

"Hmm. So you guys weren't talking for over two hours. Wonder what you two were doing, then." he said with a smirk, putting his hands
in his pockets and looking off to the side angelically.

Yanagi looked confused and glanced from Fuuko to Tokiya and back. The mentioned two both lost their composure and glared at
Recca.

"AHHH~!!!!!" Domon punched Recca straight in the face and Fuuko hit the now fallen boy on the head as hard as she could. Tokiya
finally managed to clear the embarrassment from his face and looked at them as though they were all from outer space.

Yanagi sighed, finally getting used to it, and Kagero pointed out, "We're here, everyone."

"Yeah!" Recca grinned, leaping up to his feet. "I'm first at karoke!"

And they proceeded as follows.

They decided that whomever was on the left would begin and it would go from there towards the right end. (The left from the
perspective of the sitting members of the Hokage team. Not the perspective of people watching across the room.) Recca would be first,
then Yanagi, Tokiya, Fuuko, Domon, and finally Kagero.

And so they began. Recca took the mike and sang an energy filled "Namida no Chizu" (MKR; Ferio image song) and did pretty well with
it, considering that it was Recca singing. Then it was Yanagi's turn. She choose to sing "Namida no Imi" (AMG; Belldandy image song)
and received scattered applause, mainly because Recca forced the others to clap.

Tokiya was (fortunately for him) unable to go next because he was still concentrating on looking for a decent song to sing. He was
flipping through the title book pages as though through an uninteresting magazine. Therefore, Fuuko took the microphone. She sang
"Lu-lla-by~yasashiku dakasete~" (MKR; second ending song) and received an actually unforced applause..along with a part of Tokiya's
attention. None of the others had ever heard her sing before and recognized that she actually had talent, for some odd reason. Even
Tokiya looked up from the title list to watch her. Well, for a short while, at least..better than nothing.

Next up was Domon.

"I'll show you the power of love in singing!" he announced loudly, then punched in the number 401.

"Wonder what he's gonna sing," Fuuko muttered.

"I have the weirdest feeling this isn't going to be good," Recca commented.

Tokiya had returned to being absorbed in the 'catalogue'. Yanagi looked eagerly at the screen to know what was next.

And the title screen turned on.

Recca read part of it. "Children Songs." he said aloud.

Everyone facefaulted except for Tokiya and Domon, who hadn't noticed.

Yanagi read the rest when it popped up. "Mary Had a Little Lamb..."

Fuuko and Recca both fell out of their seats. Recca found it hilarious. Tokiya muttered "grow up" an he continued to search for a song.

Domon finally noticed the crucial mistake. "Aw, sh**!" he muttered as the music began. Then a few seconds later, the others heard:
"Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb, Mary had a little lamb, blah blah blah!"

"Are you that much of an idiot?!" Recca sighed, hand on his forehead.

"Don't actually sing the stupid song if you messed up trying to find the song you were going to sing!" Fuuko yelled angrily. She went to
beat on his absurdity once more.

Kagero sighed. "It's a good thing that we have a room to ourselves here and that the walls are sturdy. Or else someone might have
gotten hurt."

"Yeah, by Domon's singing." Recca stated.

"Hey!" Domon muttered, making a face. "It isn't that bad! And that time I wasn't really going to sing that song!"

"Then why did you even bother starting?!" Fuuko glowered, annoyed.

"Cause the music played."

"AHO! Start your other song!"

Domon nodded, then pressed the number 4011.

The others immediately facefaulted again when they read the title. "Otoko no junjyo." (YYH; Kuwabara Kazuma image song).

And so they had to suffer through that song as well. (I'll bet they regretted letting him re-do the song since he messed up with the
number..) Oh, and of course, he replaced Kuwabara's name with his own and Yukina's name with Fuuko's to her extreme annoyance
and to Recca's humor.

Next was Kagero, since Tokiya was taking an awful long time to choose his song. (Well, he couldn't look during Domon's song since he
was using both of his hands to cover his ears and so couldn't turn the pages..)

Kagero had said beforehand that she would only sing once. No one minded, though, since they all wanted their own turns to come
again. Well, everyone else except for Tokiya, who had all but been forced to attend the party in the first place. Kagero decided on
"Scarlet" (AnC; opening song). She didn't do poorly, but she didn't do overly fantastic either.

Tokiya grumbled about having to be next up, but his attempt at stopping the others from making him go next was ineffective. After a
few minutes of arguing that he didn't have a song to sing, the others picked for him. "Mizu-kagami." (FY; Chichiri image song). Partly
because Domon stated that if the 'zu' was removed, it would spell out Tokiya's last name. Though that was overruled because of the
difference in kanji, they decided it was a good enough song. He wasn't bad at singing either, if a little reluctant. Fine, very reluctant.

Soon after, in result of a bet from Recca, Fuuko and Yanagi were stuck in a duet situation.

"But I'm not that good at singing, and I might ruin the song--" Yanagi complained, frowning.

"Aw, come on! It'll be fun!" Recca grinned, he wanted to hear what song the girls would pick. He had already been stuck in "Aoi Jiyuu.
Shiroi Nozomi." (FY; Chichiri/Tasuki duet) with Domon because of a bet by Fuuko. Although that one had turned out pretty darn
horrible.

Kagero shrugged. "Go ahead and try, Yanagi-chan, it couldn't be that bad."

And considering the duet before, that would be true.

They finally decided on "Ai wa Towa ni," (ST; Sumire/Kanna duet) with Fuuko as Sumire and Yanagi as Kanna. Though Recca and
Domon stated that it was a boy/girl duet, Fuuko argued that it was two girls singing it anyways so it didn't matter. Also, Domon said that
he wanted to sing a duet with Fuuko. The girl refused.

Considering the song before, it went well. Not considering that, it was fair.

After that song, it was already dark out, because they had arrived pretty late at the place. They ate a few things, mostly various snacks
like chips, cookies, etc. and drank a few different drinks. Domon was able to gulp down a whole can of beer at one time without even
flinching. Fuuko had stuck with a few cups of wine, as Kagero had done. Yanagi tried a sip of Recca's beer, and already became drunk.
Tokiya was the only one who stayed sober, to Fuuko's distaste. She ordered him, pleaded with him, even tried forcing him to drink, but
to no avail. Especially not with the coordination she had with alcohol in her system. Recca was challenged by Domon in a drinking
contest, cheered on by the three females and Domon won by far, to Recca's disgust. In less than two hours, Tokiya was the only one
left who could walk straight. He had stuck to his decision of being sober. And not only that, he was getting slightly tired.

Fuuko joined him on the couch, then asked in a slightly slurred tone, "Should I not have invited Yanagi-chan? I know she's probably
making you remember about.." she trailed off, looking at him expectantly.

Tokiya flinched. He had almost forgotten for a small moment. Almost. But not quite. And now it was definitely on his mind. He gave
a painful looking small smile, then shook his head. "It's okay."

She sighed. "Liar." she turned away from him to watch the others.

Kagero was sitting on the table now, legs crossed and drinking another glass of wine. Recca had taken up the microphone once more.
Yanagi punched in a few numbers and before they knew it, Recca, Domon, and even Yanagi were all singing and dancing to "Y.M.C.A."
(Village People).

Fuuko watched them with a smile on her face for a while until her eyes closed slowly and she fell against Tokiya's shoulder. He blinked,
then grumbled. "Fuuko-san? Are you--" he rolled his eyes as her slow breathing confirmed his question. "--sleeping?" he mumbled,
then decided upon watching the others for a little while longer.

He was starting asleep himself when he felt her stir. On instinct, he looked down at her. "Awake?" he muttered as her eyes opened.

He saw her smile. With that, she crawled halfway into his lap. ::Drunk, still. None of the alcohol seems to be gone yet.:: he observed,
noting her slightly red cheeks. "What?" he asked bluntly.

"Mi-chan," she began, then wrapped her arms around him. The song of the Village People was playing again. She brought her face
closer to his, then smiled once more. "Are you sure you don't want to drink?"

"Yes, I'm--" his eyes widened slightly as her lips met his. Very gently. He could smell the scent of wine. Suddenly, he felt his eyelids
grow heavy and his eyes shut. When he opened them again, Fuuko had her head on his lap. Asleep. He blinked. ::What..?::

"Ah, awake now?" Kagero asked him. "You've been sleeping for about fifteen or so minutes." she said with a smile.

::A dream. And a weird one, at that.:: Tokiya thought with relief. He knew that she wasn't that type of girl. Thank goodness. It was a
first, to dream of someone kissing him. It was not a comforting thought, in his opinion. Getting close to anyone now, could be
dangerous....

"How long has she been sleeping?" he motioned at Fuuko.

"About five minutes more than you. You almost woke her up, too. You gave a start while you were sleeping, and she fell forward. Bad
dream?" Kagero winked. "She wasn't in your lap to begin with, you know."

Tokiya felt his face grow warm. ::Embarrassing.:: was the one word that appeared in his mind. It was a good thing that Domon wasn't
sober enough to notice. He would have gotten angry....and no one knows exactly how strong one could be when drunk. Maybe not
coordinated, but still, was Domon ever really coordinated? Um...you decide.

Tokiya watched Recca, Domon, and Yanagi continue singing loudly, and wondered how the purple-haired girl was able to sleep through
all of it. Then again, he had been asleep himself until only a little while back.

She looked peaceful. That, he noticed. He also noticed something he didn't want to notice. And that was that she was actually pretty.
The only thing about her that resembled a monkey was part of her personality..and on occasion, her voice. He smirked to himself as he
thought of this and absently ran a hand through her short hair. When he realized what he was doing, though, he stopped, pulled away,
and looked at his hand as though it had just betrayed his orders and touched burning hot coal. What he did not know was that Kagero
only seemed drunk. She actually wasn't. And she was watching this scene with unmistakable interest.

*

"Argh!" Fuuko grumbled as she sat up. "I have the worse hang-over.." then she glanced around. "Eh? I'm home? How'd that
happen?" she pondered aloud, then shrugged. "Well, why bother to question." with a quick stretch, she got up and changed to make
herself a bit more presentable. "Anyways, where was I planning on going today? Ah, yes. Off to Meguri Kyoza's house I go!"

30 minutes later:

Ding-dong...knock, knock..

"Hold on." a tired voice replied from inside of the building the girl had approached. After a short while, a man answered the door. He
looked her up and down, then gave a slight polite smile. "Fuuko-san, am I correct? What would bring you here?"

Fuuko had her hands on her hips and was glaring. Still, it didn't seem to bother the older man what-so-ever. He must have been used
to it. "I came to ask a few questions, Kyoza-san." she grumbled. "Or are you busy?"

"I was expecting you." he said matter-of-factly. "So I set aside some time. I'm guessing that you want to speak to me about my
student...am I right?" he narrowed one eye, then gestured for her to come inside of the house.

"Bingo." she entered with a shrug and followed him into a room. They sat down. "Okay, getting straight to business, I want you to tell
me what exactly did happen."

"Happen when?" Kyoza asked warily, whispering to someone who looked dressed to be a servant or something similar to one. "Tea,
please."

"You know when! Tell me the truth about Mi-cha--Mikagami's past."

Kyoza looked at her with slight curiosity. "Ah, but don't you think that it's not really any of your business?"

"It is!" she argued.

"Tell me why." he bowed to the woman who brought two cups of tea and set it down in front of the man and his guest. "That will be
all," he directed to the woman, dismissing her.

"Well, because I want to know and because Mi-chan's a friend of mine. I think I have the right to know at least a little."

Meguri Kyoza stared at her for a few silent seconds, then chuckled. "Mi-chan, eh? Interesting."

Fuuko automatically turned red. "What's so funny about that?" she demanded.

"And you say that he is your friend?" the man ignored her question and shrugged. "If you think so, I guess I can't change your mind
about that."

"Fine, not really friend, but he was a teammate of mine." she defended herself, glowering. ::This teacher gets on my nerves..:: she
thought to herself scornfully.

"I see." Kyoza took a sip of his tea, then motioned for her to have some of hers. She obeyed, but only after glaring at him a tiny bit
longer. He finally smiled. "Energetic girl, aren't you." he murmured, then nodded. "I'll tell you. But only what you need to know."

"Before that, I want to know why you kept lying to poor Mi-chan. He's in bad shape, you know."

"Didn't you take him out to a karoke bar or something else yesterday?" he asked innocently.

"Wha--?! How'd you know!?" instantly, she was on her guard.

"I heard from Recca-kun who had called this morning to tell me you're coming." he said dryly.

"Oh." she replied, looking awfully sheepish.

"And why did I lie to him? I wanted him to become strong."

"But you didn't need to erase all other emotion from him, did you? You made him live only for revenge!"

"Maybe so. Emotions usually only get in the way. Especially anger." he chided.

"Well, so~rry." she sighed. There was no way she could keep up with his indirect way of insulting. She wondered how Tokiya had been
able to stand him for seven whole years. She knew she couldn't have. That must have been partly why the boy was like that.

"Anyways, a summary of his life is here. I indirectly adopted a young girl to pose as Tokiya's sister and get closer to him. That way, he
would actually think that she was his sister. Then had her killed (her death was staged, of course), hid her somewhere else, then made
Tokiya want to learn how to use the Ensui."

"You speak exactly what's on your mind." she said with a frown.

"I take that as a comment."

There, they had a glaring contest. Well, something close to it. Kyoza's eyes bore into Fuuko's, trying to read her expression
underneath anger. He failed to do so and dismissed it after a while.

"Is that all you wanted to ask?" he leaned back in his seat, drinking more tea.

"Yeah. I think that sums it up." she sighed. ::And I think that I don't ever want to see your ugly face any more.:: she added silently
in her head.

"Ah, before you go, tell me this."

"Huh? Yeah?"

"Did Tokiya really throw out his emotions? Well, in your opinion. Because if he did, I would think that he would have stayed away from
all of you guys."

Fuuko smiled slightly, the first time since she had seen him. "Heh, yeah, maybe you're right. He did actually worry for some of us in
the Urabutosatsujin." with that, she glanced down, muttering, "Though I wasn't one of them."

Kyoza caught the last sentence and raised an eyebrow. "Ah, Recca-kun and Domon-kun, eh? Wonder if he dislikes women." he
snickered. "Though that wasn't quite what I intended to make him do..."

"You truly are mean." she stated, starting out of her seat.

"I'll take that as a compliment, too." Kyoza replied easily. "Ah, Recca-kun has a message for you. You're to meet the others at seven
tonight at Yanagi-san's house. Some sort of get-together, I heard."

"Well, tha~nk you." she said with a sarcastic touch, then thought automatically, ::Well, I know where Mi-chan's attitude comes from..::

He smiled. "I will see you later, Fuuko-san." he stated. "Did I mention I'm going, also?"

Fuuko growled something under her breath that had to do with a certain 'teacher' and stupidity.

*

"Truth or Dare!" Recca announced, as soon as everyone had arrived.

"Huh?!" Fuuko looked confused. "What are you talking about? What's with this 'get-together' anyways? Why--"

"Girls in that room, guys in that one." Recca ordered, wrapping an arm around Yanagi and whispering something into his Hime's ear.
The others saw Yanagi giggle slightly, then turn red.

Tokiya, who would usually be angry at seeing such a show of affection between the two, did nothing. His face stayed blank. Still, Kaoru
didn't look very happy.

Meguri Kyoza entered the door, asking where he fit in with the others. Would he have to go with the guys and play? Or could he just
watch?

Tokiya automatically paled, taking a step away from his teacher. Fuuko caught the action and stepped forward.

"Geez, you don't know when to give up, do you." the girl muttered.

If Kyoza had heard the comment, he didn't show it.

"Saa, saa!" Yanagi pulled the purple-haired girl into the room Recca had selected for the females.

Fuuko sweatdropped and allowed herself to be dragged off, though she kept her eyes on Tokiya the whole time. He didn't seem to
notice. And if he did, he didn't seem to care, being too focused on avoiding Kyoza.

Recca finally noticed the tension and then said lightly to Kyoza that he should stay in the other room. Kyoza then replied that he would
go buy something in a store because he had time. With that, he said a casual "good-bye, see you later" and disappeared.

After Kyoza had left, Recca ushered the remaining males into one room and the females in the other. He winked at Yanagi, then said,
"Well, we'll meet back here when dinner's called."

Yanagi nodded, then giggled. And Truth or Dare was started.

*

Recca went first for the guys. Immediately, he looked at Tokiya, who was looking bored and nervous at the same time. He had never
been a big fan of games.

"Mikagami!" Recca announced, a huge grin on his face. "Truth or dare?"

"This is stupid." Tokiya replied, crossing his arms and leaning back in his chair. "Why do I--"

"Pick!"

Tokiya sighed. "Truth."

"What in the world did Fuuko and you do after leaving the restaurant?"

--

Yanagi smiled timidly. "Kagero-san, you can go first," she said politely, considering the older woman's age.

"Okay." Kagero said with a shrug. "Fuuko-chan."

"Geh!" Fuuko bit her lip. "Truth."

Kagero's serious expression disappeared and she smiled evilly. Fuuko gulped.

"Truthfully, tell me one good thing about each guy in 'our group'." Kagero stated.

--

"I--I don't have to answer that!" Tokiya protested, the nervous expression even more visible on his face.

"Aw, but you do!" Kaoru argued. He wanted to know what went on, since he wasn't even invited to the restaurant...and not to forget the
karoke bar.

Tokiya glanced uneasily around the group of faces. Recca's grinning one, Kaoru's anxious look, Domon's seriously creepy face. He
then sighed. "Nothing." was the simple reply.

"Liar!" Recca exclaimed gleefully, "It's written all over your face!"

Tokiya glanced over at Recca, then narrowed his eyes. "Hanabishi..what's written all over my face?"

"That it's a lie, stupid."

"Ah."

"Are you going to answer the question or not? If you don't, you automatically get a dare..." Recca was having the most fun at annoying
the older boy.

"Fine, I'll answer it. Though I already have.." Tokiya took a deep breath.

--

"EH!?" Fuuko looked at Kagero as though she was crazy. "What kind of question is that!?"

"Who cares, now answer it!" Kagero still had that suspiciously evil look on her face.

"Well, fine, I guess." the purple-haired girl shrugged, twiddling her thumb. "Recca is someone I've known for a long time, so I don't
really have anything good about him to say," she caught the expectant look on Kagero's face, frowned, and continued, "But I guess
he's a good friend after all. I mean, he really cares, especially about Yanagi-chan," she stole a glance at Yanagi, who blushed. "Hm.
Domon, he's stupid but strong. Koganei's good at using the Kougon Anki, considering his age. He's really swift, though I can't say very
strong." she shrugged, "Because he's so little, mind you. There."

Kagero sighed. "And...?"

"And?" Fuuko looked confused.

"You're missing someone." ::On purpose?:: Kagero held the thought from her lips, knowing that any extra speaking would make the
girl angry.

"I am?"

--

"She came to look for me when I was at the park." Tokiya was saying, not meeting anyone's gaze. "And after I left, she followed me
somehow without me knowing and found my house. I had to let her in, cooked her dinner and walked her home. It was raining." he
added, annoyed at the memory.

"That's...it?" Recca looked suspicious.

"Mmm-hmm."

"Liar!" Kaoru accused this time.

Tokiya facefaulted. "How much more do I have to say? Are you sure that none of you were listening or something?" he narrowed his
bluish green eyes once more.

"Nope, that's why we wanna know. What'd you talk about?" Recca questioned.

"My past. Now can we get to someone else?"

The black-haired boy knew when he had pushed too far. "Yeah, sure. Koganei, go ahead next."

"Okay." Kaoru pretended to think for a bit, then said with a smirk, "Mikagami-niichan."

"Wha--!" Tokiya tried to protest, but to no avail. He had to go, again.

--

"Mikagami Tokiya-kun." Kagero reminded, as she watched Fuuko seriously look confused or be a very good actress.

"Oh! Yeah! Mi-chan!" Fuuko sweatdropped. ::D*** it.:: was the first thing to come to mind. Aloud, she said, "I really appreciate his
skill. He's really good at using the Ensui and--" she paused, looked down. Ensui..it was in her house, still. She had forgotten to give it
back to Tokiya.

"Huh? And?"

"..and he's smart and quick." she finished lamely, her spirits darkened.

--

"Truth."

"Mikagami-niichan, have you ever gone on a date?"

The room burst out in laughter. Tokiya did not look amused.

"Oh, and if you haven't, have you wanted to? Hmm?" Kaoru was grinning like a maniac, while Recca and Domon were both busting out
in laughter.

"What kind of girl wants to go out with Ice Man?!" Domon exclaimed, rolling on the floor with laughter.

"Someone who works in the freezer section of a grocery store!" Recca added.

Kaoru glanced at Tokiya, his grin not wavering a single bit.

Tokiya sighed. He was beat. Again.

--

"Next up?" Kagero looked at Yanagi expectantly.

"Ganko-chan?" Yanagi asked, confused.

"Wai!" Ganko turned to the slightly red Fujin master. "Fuuko!"

"Me again?!" Fuuko turned a deeper shade of red, this time of anger. ::This game is rigged. I know it..::

"Mmm-hmm."

"Truth."

Ganko stood up, pointed at Fuuko dramatically, then asked, "Out of all of the guys, who would you most want to kiss?!"

--

"No, and I never have wanted to." Tokiya answered darkly.

"Aw, poor guy," Domon gushed.

"Hey, have you, Domon?" Recca retorted.

"Yeah, with Fuuko, many times!"

"You wish!" Recca pounded Domon on the back, laughing. What they didn't notice was that even though he knew that it was a joke,
Tokiya was not at all happy with the comment.

"Go ahead, Domon!" Recca said after he stopped laughing and caught his breath.

"Heck yeah! Mikagami, you're up again!" the big 16-year-old said happily.

Tokiya was very very very irritated when he was informed of that information.

--

"Wha--?!" Fuuko shook her head. "Why do I have to answer that one?!" she wailed.

"We'll all answer it then, if that'll make you happy." Kagero suggested.

"Yeah!" Yanagi piped in.

Ganko shrugged. "Okay by me..."

"Fine, but I'm last, in that case!" Fuuko announced, crossing her arms and looking around, exasperated.

"Recca-kun." Yanagi said automatically.

"Koganei." Ganko said supportively.

"Recca." was Kagero's answer, to the shock of everyone else. When asked why, she answered because she would never be able to,
unless her curse was relieved.

"How about Mr. Hanabishi?" Fuuko said dryly.

Kagero turned red and the purple-haired girl knew she had scored a point.

"Your turn, Fuuko." Ganko reminded.

Fuuko sighed, then thought for a moment. ::Recca? No, not him. Anyways, that'll make Yanagi-chan mad. Not Koganei, he's so
young. Definitely not Domon. Who's left?:: an image of a certain Ensui master appeared in her head and she shook it off. ::No! Not
him!:: "Out of who?" she asked, with sinking spirits.

"Koganei, Recca, Domon and Mikagami." Ganko said, helpfully.

"Mi-chan." was the automatic answer. As soon as she said it, though, she covered her mouth. "Ah! I mean--I mean--"

"I knew it!" Ganko cried out, clapping her hands in joy.

Fuuko glanced away from the group, trying to hide her embarrassment. ::Baka! Baka!:: she thought to herself, though she had to
admit he was better than the others. In her opinion. And she had a reason to wish to, since she never would. Though she didn't have
a complete reason why she would want to.

--

"Truth." Tokiya replied, knowing that Domon's dare would have been one of the worst. Recca's being the absolute worst, of course.

"Who do you think is the cutest of the girls in the other room?" Domon asked suspiciously.

If everything was still going normally, Tokiya's answer would have been 'Yanagi-san' without hesitation. But now that he found out all
about what had happened in his past...? What to answer?

"....Yanagi-san." he said dully.

With that, the whole room went silent. Tokiya looked at them as though they had all just grown an extra head. "What?"

"So why don't you think so anymore?" Recca and Kaoru demanded at the same time.

"Huh?!"

"Who do you really think, then?" Domon interrupted, red in the face. "If not Yanagi!"

"But you all heard my answer--" Tokiya objected.

"We heard, yeah, but who said we believe?!" he glared at the upperclassman. "What the h*** happened between you and my Fuuko!?"

"NOTHING!" Tokiya finally slammed a hand down on the table, quieting the others. His eyes widened and he turned away.
"Sumanai.." he said quietly.

Domon glared at Tokiya, then grabbed a hold of his shirt collar, lifting him up. "Bastard, don't you dare even think about taking my
Fuuko away from me, you hear?"

"..let go."

"DID YOU HEAR ME?!"

Tokiya said nothing further, glaring opposingly at Domon, who was doing the same thing back at him. Recca gulped. This was not
good.

"H--hey, Domon! Mikagami never said that he though Fuuko was the cutest! Whaddya think you're doing?"

"It's written all over his face, da**mit!" Domon argued, shaking the collar.

Tokiya finally pushed him away, then walked to the door. "I'm leaving." he announced, then opened the door.

--

"Yanagi-chan's turn." Kagero informed the others.

Yanagi opened her mouth to speak, when they heard a loud slamming noise from the other room. They all exchanged glances, then
shrugged.

"Go on, Yanagi-chan."

"Fu--Fuuko-san." Yanagi said, afraid of the reaction she would get from the girl.

Fuuko finally shook her hesitation away, then grinned. "Fuuko-chan's so popular now-a-days. Dare!"

Yanagi looked blank, obviously not expecting the other girl to pick dare. She then said timidly, "I dare you to sneak up on the guys
and see what's going on, then report it to us?"

"Hehe.." Fuuko grinned once more. "Seems easy enough.." ::Except Mi-chan's extra good at sensing people around..:: she sighed to
her